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Lichtenberg Designs

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Mike Johnson, Oct 23, 2016.

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  1. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    So they design a table saw that can sense a persons flesh coming in contact with the moving
    blade and stopping it instantly, but the same type of circuit is not able to protect from an electrical
    shock when that is what the intended circuit was designed for? Really..........
     
  2. Troy Nethaway

    Troy Nethaway

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    Uh, a 52-year-old man in York county PA was killed in a chainsaw accident. How will the safety committee respond ?
     
  3. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Troy, that really is a non-sequitur. Using a chainsaw is not wood turning, though, I’m sure they advise against using a chainsaw on lathe-mounted, rotating pieces.
     
  4. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    We can debate this ’til the cows come to roost, but the bottom line is that the AAW will not promote or sanction the techniques to create Lichtenberg designs until better safety techniques and designs are developed and disseminated to the turning community. They have clearly stated that individuals, and chapters, can do as they please regarding this but the mother organization is having no part of it.

    As an aside, I can see the chapter insurance policies jumping substantially if these demonstrations becomes the norm. As well, the chapter officers would be well-advised to investigate their personal liability.
     
    Jim Gentry and hockenbery like this.
  5. Bert Delisle

    Bert Delisle

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    Well we can agree to disagree. I know there are folks out there doing this anyway, so many youtube vids that are downright dangerous, my interest is only to help educate and disseminate safety.
    By having the AAW make statements perceived as condemning this technique adds to confusion.
    I will leave this thread alone, anyone who would like to know more about how I have implemented my safety and controls can private message me.
     
  6. Frank F

    Frank F

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    Disclosure: I did not know what Lichtenberg designs were until I saw this thread.

    After watching some videos, the one commonality I noticed was that all systems I saw were jury rigged from things designed for another purpose. This implies a lack of standards for the subject application of this thread. Missing standards include wiring, securing the electrodes to the clamp and placing that clamp to the wood.

    We all agree there are inherent dangers in woodturning. But the tools we use generally are designed for our applications. I know as woodturners, we have been known to get creative and make stuff rather than buy it – yes we often jury rig. Which brings me to my last point.

    I think we can presume that woodturners have some degree of mechanic “sense” or dexterity. We can see how our tools and jigs work. With experience, we can hear and feel when something isn’t right or is about to go wrong. Electricity on the other hand has invisible dangers, often lethal. There is often no warning. IMO, if you’re going to start jury rigging high voltage tools/toys, you really have to understand what you’re doing, foresee what could go wrong and know how to prevent it. The mechanical stuff we deal with is visual, electricity is conceptual. Winging it is a bad idea IMHO.

    Regarding the Stop Saw analogy: While the blade stopped for the hot dog in the demo, the hot dog still had a small cut. How much of a zap from a ground fault device is okay?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  7. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Playing with electricity is kind of like holding a match and seeing how close you can get to gunpowder before it goes off. The margin of error can be very small. In several of my jobs I often had to work on or around live circuits. I learned if you always kept one hand in your pocket your chances of getting electrocuted went way down. Of course that's mostly because we had on good shoes to keep it from reaching ground another way.
     
  8. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    I sure do miss the days when people had some sense of personal responsibility in their day to day activities.
    In the arts and crafts and trades many of these activities have risks of injury when precautions are not
    practiced. How many wood turners and wood workers die from lung cancer each year? We all know
    that breathing wood dust will cause these problems. Many wood types are toxic and can cause severe
    health problems when the body is exposed to these materials. Should I then assume that an association
    or agency will ban the use of particular wood types because of the risk? A number of studies have been
    done on wood dust caused cancer deaths and the number most likely exceeds a thousand deaths each
    year. Everything that we do has a risk and reward associated with the activity, hunting brown bear with a bow and arrow has a high risk, sitting in a designated safe space playing with stuffed animals has a low risk.
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    It has been shown that living results in a 100% mortality rate. I would rather hunt brown bear with a bow and arrow than drive through Atlanta at rush hour.
     
    Gerald Lawrence likes this.
  10. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    John,

    You need to buy better health insurance, I was told if you purchase the really good policy you can live forever. :) I used to make daily trips through large metro area's, amazing how many people lack the focus to drive a vehicle in a responsible manor. These are most likely the same people that add to the early mortality rates that create problems for the rest of us. You can't fix stupid and trying to outlaw the practice has failed miserably.
     
  11. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Mike, I agree with your first statement to a point. However, if the AAW “promoted” this activity through publishing about it or making demos of it available at the symposium then it’s really not a far stretch to see that next of kin would be looking for culpable parties to blame. How many wrongful death lawsuits do you think the organization could financially cover because daddy Joe cobbled together something like he saw in the pages?

    To your second statement, Mike, I believe you faux paus-ed all the way to the triple-dog dare. The leaders of the AAW haven’t banned anything other than the content that appears under the organization’s banner. They’ve done a similar thing with roughing gouges used on bowls — there are folks who use them quite regularly and successfully, but for the majority it’s just not advisable. You won’t see this combo in articles, at the symposium, or on their web pages, and they strongly advise against it, but that doesn’t stop anyone from giving it a go.

    If anyone wants to try Lichenberg, I say have at it; the more folks trying it will develop the equipment and methodology further; just don’t expect me or “my” organization to cover for your mistake.
     
    Frank F likes this.
  12. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    You have it somewhat backwards. Approximately 45,000 Americans die prematurely each year because on not having health insurance. They would not have lived forever they just did not have to die last year.

    The same concept applies to safety procedures. They prevent some accidents and mitigate the effects of many of those that do occur. Safety procedures do not prevent all accidents nor do they help much on the most catastrophic. Accidents with the electrodes will be catastrophic.

    Our AAW leadership is not preventing anyone from doing anything in their own shop. The AAW is banning fractal burning at its symposium and in its journal. The reason is that AAW does not have the expertise to develop safety standards for this process.
     
  13. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    A bit off topic- hockenberry, how many people die that have insurance? End of conversation as I don't think I will be doing anything like the lichtenberg thingy.
     
  14. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok folks thread is closed. Enough said about this, there is no safe way of doing it, nor we can have someone selling his "safer way" of doing it.
     
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  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I know that some people feel like they have made a "safe" system and I hope that is the case. Regardless of that, the AAW position is clear enough. Those who choose to engage in this activity can find another venue to share information about Lichtenberg burning.

    There have been comments in some of the posts about the AAW developing safety standards. I'll point out the obvious that the AAW is not a standards organization. If somebody believes that safety standards can be developed then they should present their proposal to the NFPA ... as well as showing how they plan to fund this activity. Finally, any "standards" are worthless unless they are adopted by the appropriate jurisdictional authority (such as a governmental regulatory agency).
     
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